Samuel H. Hay ’45

Long-term Pines resident Sam Hay died shortly before midnight on February 6, 2024, surrounded by two of his sons and daughters-in-law. 

Born September 10, 1924 in Brevard, NC to Presbyterian minister John R. Hay and his wife Sara Craig Hay, Sam Hay grew up in Hickory, graduating from Hickory High School in 1941. He then moved on to Davidson College, graduating in 1944. From there he headed for Chapel Hill where he completed the two-year program for Certificate of Medicine at the UNC Medical School, finishing first in his class. Hay finished his training for his M.D. at Harvard Medical School.

From 1949 to 1953, Sam Hay served his internship, fellowship, and residency at the University of Virginia Hospital, serving concurrently during the years 1950 to 1952 at the US Navy Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Having married Dorothy Churchill in 1949, Hay moved in 1953 to Toccoa, Georgia where he practiced internal medicine at Toccoa Clinic from 1953 until his retirement in 1991. After retirement from full-time practice, Dr. Hay worked for ten years at the Stephens County Health Department Indigent Clinic which he organized. Ever a mainstay at the First Presbyterian Church of Toccoa, he served as church elder, clerk of the session, and Sunday School teacher among other responsibilities. He also served on the boards of Stephens Federal Bank and the Bank of Toccoa and was active in Habitat for Humanity, serving as president after helping to found the local chapter. He and Dot worked regularly with the Stephens County Soup kitchen and supported the Stephens County Symphony and the Georgia Heart Association.

In January of 2002, Sam and Dorothy Hay moved to The Pines. While living at The Pines Dr. Hay volunteered at the free clinic in Huntersville. He and Dorothy were active members of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Dot Hay predeceased Sam in June of 2019. Dr. Hay is survived by his four children, Sam Hay Jr. of Stuart, Florida, Dorothy Hay Kurtz of Lexington, Kentucky, Fred Hay of Boone, North Carolina, and Dick Hay of Davidson, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024 at The Pines.

Memorials in his name may be made to: The Chattooga Conservancy or The Blue Ridge Conservancy.